Occupy Wall Street has resonated with people around the world. The young and the old, different religions,cultures and ethnicities, people from different educational backgrounds with completely different financial histories have taken to the streets today in Rome, Tokyo, Madrid, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, London, Dublin, Taiwan, the Philippines and Hong Kong.
If, in one of the wealthiest nations in the world, the United States, there is a child poverty rate of 21%, one can imagine that for others the situation would be even worse.
Financial institutions and the hedge fund millionaires have managed to destroy the lives of people around the world and the world, the 99%, are pushing back.
These same people who destroyed our economy and that of other countries now want to privatize our educational system in the state of Washington as they have elsewhere in this country by way of charter schools. Those same hedge-fund millionaires see these charter schools as another profit-making venture where the stakeholders are the stock holders.
These people are pouring millions of dollars into our state via DFER, the League of Education Voters and Stand for Children to push legislation in our state that would allow for charter schools. The irony is that all of that money could be going to the children who are in poverty and to the students in this state by way of contributing money to the districts to be funneled directly to the schools. All of our schools are making difficult decisions about whether the librarian is to be fired, a counselor and even teaching staff. One school decided to let go of the librarian and cut back on other cost so that they could hire a much needed teacher and yet you don’t see the 1% trying to the address the real problems that schools, principals and teachers face.
The people with dollar signs in their eyes, the textbook companies and test manufacturers, the online learning companies, another LEV favorite that they are pushing for now, and the charter school franchises are ready to pounce.
With the new Common Core Standards (CCS) there will have to be millions of dollars worth of books to produce along with the matching tests which we will have to pay for. There will be the software needed to match the new CCS and of course endless computers. It will be a factory like no other for our children.
Race to the Top has been a money-maker for many. That’s where all of these dollars are coming from, from people who believe that they will make a profit off of their investment. (See the category “Cashing in on ed reform in the right column of this page.) Of course there are all the millions from Gates, Broad and the Walton’s who think they know more than the rest of us do about how our children should be educated. It’s that paternalistic attitude that men in their position have taken over the centuries, thinking that they know more than we do so they are here to help us when we are perfectly capable of taking care of ourselves. To all of those venture philanthropists I say, “Just stop taking money from us by way of the billions that you receive in tax credits and we would be able to manage just fine on our own”.
And when the money is pouring in, there will also be folks ready to jump on the bandwagon. It would be interesting to see how much money some of the folks make who work for Stand for Children or the League of Education Voters plus all the other benefits they receive including the opportunity to get in with the moneyed movers and shakers and move themselves up the ladder of political success. This is human nature and we have all seen it time and time again. Just because someone says that they are “doing it for the children” doesn’t put them on some sort of moral high ground.
The Battle for Seattle and our state is on. If you would like to be involved in a real grassroots movement to stop our schools from being privatized in the state of Washington, please contact me. I have been hearing from parents and concerned citizens around the state and in other states as well who want to be a part of keeping our state charter free. A group is forming now. We all have many different skills and much knowledge about our schools and how are children are learning to bring to the table. We know that there is a better way for our children and we are the ones to define it, not the moneyed and/or greedy few.
You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or the e-mail address associated with this website to get involved.
Now is the time.